Nowadays, almost everything is dependent on electricity. When there’s a power outage, you simply can’t seem to do anything productive. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there is a power outage of about 1 to 2 times a year in a typical American household with each one lasting for about 3 hours. It seems pretty rare enough for a typical household. But there are some areas which experience extreme weather conditions that cause power outages that last for days or weeks. A few hours once or twice a year is okay but imagine the inconvenience of losing electricity for days or weeks! Food on the refrigerator will be spoiled, you can’t cook, you can’t watch TV or charge your devices, your pipes can be frozen, and walls will get moldy. It will be a big hassle on your part. That’s why if you live in these areas, it is always best to have back up power to avoid having to deal with the inconveniences and expenses of a power outage. It is also needed for those homes that maintain medical equipment or have livestock to take care of. Having a generator on standby is always a good idea for an emergency plan when the power suddenly goes out.
There are different generators on the market. They come in various sizes, prices, and models. They serve different purposes as well. How do you choose the best generator for your house? When buying a generator, the best defense you have is information so that you’ll get the best generator that will suit your needs at home and you don’t end up spending more than you need. Read on for some of our tips on choosing the right generator for your home. Make an informed choice so you can be sure to get the best quality for the best price and enjoy value for your money.
Things to consider when buying a generator
Frequency of power outages. As we mentioned earlier, there are areas prone to prolonged periods of power outages such as those who live in areas frequented by hurricanes, blizzards, and ice storms. There are also homes that just experience this occasionally or rarely lose power but still want a generator on standby for their peace of mind. These two groups would need different generators. It isn’t advisable for those who rarely experience power outages to spend thousands on a generator set that they wouldn’t use for a long time. It is best for them to get a portable, mid-sized, or recreational generator. Meanwhile, those who frequently lose power are well-advised to buy a sturdy generator that they can connect directly to their home’s circuit breaker panel so that it can function immediately during a power outage. They should consider getting a home standby or large inverter generator and have a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.
Wattage. Different generators can accommodate up to a certain amount of wattage. Those planning to buy one need to compute the wattage that their appliances would be consuming so that they can get a generator that will suit their needs. Determine which appliances you want to have running during a power outage and simply add up their wattage for you to know which generator to get. You probably won’t have all of your appliances running all at the same time so you just need to include the appliances that you would be using frequently. But keep in mind that you have to include your hardwired appliances in your calculation and you have to make allowances for the power surges needed by your refrigerator, air conditioner, sump pump and similar appliances when you start them up. Starting watts are usually higher than running watts. The wattage listed at the back of your appliances or their manuals usually pertains to their running watts. Remember, your generator must be able to handle the initial wattage demand. It’s best to consult your electrician regarding this so that you will have an accurate calculation of your wattage needs. There are heavy-duty generators in the market that can provide more than 10,000 watts which could power most of your appliances at home. But if you just need a few appliances running, then you can opt for the mid-sized generators.
What size is needed to power a house?
Each home has different power needs. Some may need to use more appliances during a power outage while some may be enough with having just a few of them running. But in general, a generator that can provide between 5,000 and 7,500 watts would be enough to power a house. It could already accommodate an air conditioner, sump pump, refrigerator, laptop, TV, and some light bulbs. This would already make for a comfortable experience during an emergency loss of power until the electricity goes back.
Why is it important to get the right size of generator?
Getting the right size for your generator will ensure that your power needs are met during an outage. You will avoid experiencing power failures which could also damage your unit. It will also ensure that your investment will pay off because the lifespan of your generator can last a long time. It would take a longer time before you need to buy a replacement. Most importantly, having the right size of generator will ensure your safety. It will prevent short circuits and the possibility of fire. It will also protect your appliances from damage. We’re also talking about your health. It will help keep you comfortable and avoid heatstroke. This is why it is important for you to get the right size of the generator for your home.
To sum it up, if you live in a disaster-prone area, it’s best to get a home standby, large inverter, or a portable generator to accommodate your power needs during an emergency. These types of generators can provide the wattage that you need to have essential appliances running efficiently when the power goes off. It is always best to consult with your trusted electrician before buying one to get professional advice regarding the right size generator for your house.